Shazam! Fury of the Gods review: The death knell of a crumbling DCEU ★☆☆☆☆

3 mins read

Moderate spoilers ahead.

With the DCU acquisition by James Gunn, the future of the Shazam! franchise is up in the air. But just like it’s protagonist Billy Batson, maybe it should be buried once and for all.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ sees Billy Batson and his foster siblings, who can transform into magical superheroes with the calling of the word Shazam, facing a new threat in the Daughters of Atlas.

Shazam! released in 2019 was a fun departure from the often too serious DCEU with it’s campy, coming-of-age superhero romp. But this sequel tries to soar but instead crashes into familiar, mundane waters.

Zachary Levi leads his superhero family in Shazam! 2 (Image Credit: DC Films)

The first Shazam! worked best when it was focusing on young Billy coming to grips with his new reality of being a superhero, but here Batson and his foster family seem relegated to supporting roles to let the much less interesting, tropey superheroes eat up screentime in a nasty swamp of CGI (supported by the problem of finding an image of the younger cast for this article).

As is the case with countless superhero films, Fury of The Gods loses itself in a barrel load of CGI and poorly edited green-screen backdrops, making what could’ve been another fun, colorful adventure into a soulless wasteland.

The plot is as convoluted as it is cliché. Every story-beat being seen from a mile away; it’s all about family, the big, messy final battle, the ‘surprise’ death (oh wait!? they’re alive.) and the oh-so frustrating ‘let’s bring this character everyone knows back!’ because film’s are now all about cheap callbacks than artistic integrity.

Helen Mirren is relatively fun, hamming it up as one of the sister’s Hespera and the young cast led once again by Asher Angel as Billy Batson are as fun & charismatic as ever but Zachary Levi simply cannot lead this film; a cringe performance, made worse by him being on-screen the majority of the film. And it’s a shame to see the fantastic Rachel Zegler (Spielberg’s West Side Story) lost in amongst the chaos.

Zachary Levi salutes the death of the DCEU? (Image Credit: DC Films)

With it’s mish-mash of cliches and vapid storyline, Shazam! Fury of The Gods is a dull slog of a film which feels more like an advert for Skittles (there’s a lot of product placement). The DCEU has been on a downward trajectory ever since it began and it goes out with the sigh and a whimper it was always destined for, not the grand exit it wanted.

Featured Image Credit: DC Films

+ posts

Film & Media & Journalism Student
Here to review, discuss & celebrate all things film.
contact me:

%d bloggers like this: